Using Your Local Library as a Free Genealogy Resource

One of the most commonly overlooked free genealogy resources is your local library. You would be amazed at what your local library has to offer for genealogy. Even the smallest library has at least a small amount of material that can help build your family tree.

First, most libraries have a subscription to Ancestry. If you are unable to afford the subscription fees for this huge database of genealogical material, head to your library. You will most likely need to apply for a library card and be subject to time limits, but it's still worth it.

Many libraries have an area that offers material on local history. This sometimes includes genealogical material as well. If your family isn't from the area, don't despair. Your library holds more.

Head to the nonfiction section of the library to see what genealogy books they have to offer. You can generally find these books around 929 if you pay attention to the Dewey decimal system on the books. Nearby are usually biographies, which may also be helpful in your search.

Don't forget to check out the reference section of the library. This may hold more free genealogy resources such as old phone or city directories, encyclopedias or historic maps.

If your library doesn't have the book you want in their holdings, ask about inter-library loan. Most libraries are connected with several others. If they don't have a specific book, chances are that one of their affiliates does have it. With inter-library loan, they request it from the other library so you can check it out. Inter-library loan also works on items found in the reference section. These, however, must be viewed at the library and cannot be checked out.

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